Thursday, October 16, 2008 0 comments

He's Singing over me

One of my FAVORITE scriptures:

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I can't tell you how much this meant to me when I was reminded of it in an email devotional this morning. I have been a little overwhelmed - that was an understatement yesterday. And my responses to interruptions and aggravations has not been good. And that's frustrating for me because I want to do better as a light in this world. And as excited as I am about the mission trip (only 2 days left!), I've still been under deadlines and a huge load of work that isn't getting done before I go.

Part of me, no - most of me, needs have a sense of accomplishment in a day. If I can't get a certain percentage of my to-do list done, then I've failed. And I have already failed when I wake up simply because I am behind from the day before. And why is that? I used to be able to handle more work than this. And this week I figured it out. I've been putting PEOPLE before WORK. Go figure.

Jesus' work WAS people. My work up to this point hasn't been about people - just pushing papers and planning for people. Lately though, I've been spending actual time with people. And I LOVE IT! But my work wasn't ALL getting done. But the I wouldn't trade the time with my best friends and mom for anything in the world. And I'm pretty sure when my "exit interview" comes in front of God, He's not going to ask me how much "work" I got done.

So while I am still plugging away at finishing some work projects, God's love is what can quiet me. And I love to imagine Him singing over me...can you imagine what that sounds like? Think of your favorite voices and mix them all together (like a rushing river, but as soft as a gentle flowing creek -- the whisper in the wind). I feel better already!
Friday, October 10, 2008 1 comments

My little "man"

I just had to take a few minutes to post this! I'm getting my paperwork ready for the auction in the morning. I watch cartoons - watching Superman tonight. Well, my cat, Maestro, will watch Batman cartoons with me sometimes. And he's found another character he likes - Lobo. Not sure what it is that facinates him, he doesn't watch ALL cartoons with me. So I know it's not just the movement on the screen. But this is hilarious! He watches a good 10 minutes. Although, I'm a bad mom for letting him sit so close to the screen....LOL!!


Rounding up ideas!

9 days and counting!!!! And I need all the ideas I can get for games to play with the kids. Catch is - I'm restricted on materials. So if anyone has some cool ideas of things to do with kids when you don't have toys, paper, playdoh, etc...that would be fantastic!

I found these great little horns, well more like flutes since they have holes in them. But with those I can do a lesson on Joshua and Jericho walls. And we have some candy, mini coloring books with crayons, and little plastic rings that says Jesus Loves You on them. I'm so excited! And there's still A LOT to get accomlished in a week. So pray for me please - here's what it's looking like:
  • For KFC: invoicing at least 2 flights of orders, reporting market information for those orders, Pepsi & Dr Pepper mailings to system, prep work for the next round of commercials (that airs while I'm gone), prepping instructions for while I'm gone (cause heaven-forbid the satellite go out or they run out of snacks), etc.
  • For GCC: Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork for the Student Ministries, prep for Talent Show, SOME prep for the Youth Scavenger hunt, important letters to key people, history info, and promo for Christmas program
  • For Brewer Auctions: Set-up for tomorrow's auction tonight, tomorrow auction, Mailers for the 25th auction, 3 print ads, update website--again, settle-up with last week and tomorrow's clients, check church site for filming his daughter's wedding on the 18th
  • For Personal: finish project for a friend of mine, PACK, get rest of supplies, prepare for trip with lessons and music, water plants, love on the cats, get supplies, Italy video (this is a pipe dream I think for before I leave...unless I just don't sleep) -- and have dinner with my mom (I'm thinking Rafferty's Cheese Fries!!!)

Please pray for me to get a touch of God's limitless energy! And don't worry about sleep - I'm saving up for that 16-hour flight overseas!

Thursday, October 9, 2008 0 comments

Today's Girlfriends in God Devotional

I got this in my email today:

October 9, 2008
Making Your Heart Sit Down
Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. (NLT)

Friend to Friend

Every minute of every day is either wasted or invested. Since the Bible contains over 400 verses about time, we can safely assume that time management is important to God. In fact, it is a spiritual discipline. We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude.

I once read an African proverb, "Lord Jesus, make my heart sit down". Solitude is deliberately and diligently setting aside time to "sit down" at the feet of Jesus. It is in those still, quiet moments of solitude at his feet that we can more clearly hear God speak and gain strength and wisdom for the journey ahead. In order to practice solitude, we must learn how to budget time.

It's been said that women must balance their time more carefully than men because women don't have wives. The fact is we are all responsible for how we spend the time God has given us. Time is a precious gift! Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use. If we use it in the wrong way, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Un-budgeted time gravitates to our weaknesses, is stolen by others or wasted on the unimportant. We must budget time, just as Jesus did.

Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (NIV).

At the age of 12, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parents for the annual Passover Celebration. When his parents began the long trip home, they did not miss their son at first and when they did, assumed he was traveling with friends. Jesus was found in the temple, teaching. My first reaction would probably have been pride in the fact that religious scholars and teachers were actually listening to my young son. I would most likely have encouraged Jesus to continue, basking in the looming recognition and acclaim. Instead, Jesus returned home where, for 18 to 20 years, he simply grew. Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. In Luke 3, Jesus begins his ministry, the most powerful ministry ever known. In other words, Jesus Christ budgeted his time wisely, resulting in a balanced life of fulfilled purpose. We can live the same kind of life if our priorities are right.

Set priorities: Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that "there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven" (NLT). We either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them.

Schedule priorities: There is a right time and a right way to carry out right priorities. Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, "For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight" (NASB). We must schedule time for solitude. We must set aside portions of each day to spend with God.

Stick to priorities: The apostle Paul teaches us to "make the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 5:16 NIV). Every challenge will either wreck our priorities or affirm them. Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.

One day, we will all stand before the Father and give an account of how we invested our time. Today, examine your time management habits in light of eternity. Initiate schedule changes that honor God. Make a new commitment to invest your time wisely.

Let's Pray
Father, I recognize my need for time alone with You. I lay down my schedule, my agenda and anything else in my life that would keep me from that time. Please forgive me for the way I often squander away the minutes, hours and days of my life. Give me the power to invest time wisely and wisdom to live a balanced life.
In Jesus' name,

Now It's Your Turn

Choose to practice solitude - today.
Select a place to spend time in solitude -- today.
Lay down your agenda.
Focus on Him and listen for His voice.
Memorize Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him." (NIV)
Ask yourself these questions and use the answers to shape a plan for regular solitude:
Why am I afraid of silence?
What is the greatest obstacle to solitude in my life?
What steps do I have to take in order to remove those obstacles?
What do I hope to gain from time spent in solitude?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 0 comments

Warrior Spirit

Isaiah 48:10-11

10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.

God is the only one who can do the refining, be it in ourselves or in a church as a whole. God will refine through fire as affliction. It's the only way we can grow - for His sake. And for His own sake He will refine. He will not stand for His glory to go to something or someone else.

I loved Joe's post today. He is right on with it. I personally have been studying being a warrior the past could of months. I've heard it said and have been using it regularly: Christianity is not a playground, it's a battleground. We are called to be warriors for our King. This is a spiritual war we were enlisted to when we decided to follow Christ. If you are truly following Christ it's about more than just learning from Him, it's following our General's commands.

Every warrior has a cause to fight for. Quote from Craig Groeschel: "Until you find the cause in which you are willing to die - you will never truly live." My cause is Christ alone. Philippians 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. I will fight. I will not run from affliction. I will embrace trials for the Glory of God alone. For it is not about me - it's about Christ. I will not hesitate - for "the warrior in battle who hesitates is the most vulnerable warrior of all."

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart - not leaning on my own understanding - fully relying on the work Christ did on the cross for my sins. And because I live under Christ's grace, I will be firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 - "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." No one else can do that. Only CHRIST.

Yes, there has been a lot of drama going on lately:
  • Marriages in our church are under serious attack
  • Kids struggling to gain identity and security in this crazy world
  • Young people dying tragically and unexpectedly
  • Financial struggles everywhere
  • "natural" disasters seem to come on a regular basis
  • The resignation of a gifted speaking preacher
  • Gossip and division
  • Broken trust
  • Confusion, And this is just in my own church - let alone in my own house.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. (Psalm 27:1-3)

There's a lot of crazy negative things going on around us. But what are we going to be determined for? Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3 - will you be determined in situations. They determined in advance what their response was going to be -- for God, not Neb's "god" statue of himself. They were thrown into the fire for standing up to the king - but they were saved by the King of Kings. Regardless - their response was determined: vs. 16-18: "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." That's being determined.

Even in the craziness that's going on around us - how will you be determined? What will be your "As for me and my house...." stance? As for me - I will serve the Lord only. Regardless of who's up front. I will take a stand - I will stand in the gap - I will protect - I will not cower - I will not run - I will help advance the Kingdom. Even though I am a woman alone, I will still fight on the front lines in this battle. I will fight beside those who are kindred spirits - we will have each others' backs. I will be armor-bearer to the King only (at least until He may bless me with a husband to fight along side of). Here are a couple of warrior-inspired videos.

The best part starts about 1:50 into this classic!
Monday, October 6, 2008 0 comments

Here We Are!

2 weeks and counting! Here's the crew going to the Philippines: Joyce, Joyce's daughter, Candace, myself, Hank, Steve, Hanks' brother-in-law Chester, Bill, and Sam who's the youngest and the biggest of us all.

I want to put out a huge THANK YOU to the Stephanie's Hope gang. That funding organization is a huge blessing already! And for the first time out this weekend the fundraising event was a huge success. Over 100 lbs. of pulled pork was distributed/sold - pounds and pounds of potato salad & cole slaw -- and the desserts! The band played (I got to sing harmony :-) ), cornhole & volleyball. I believe everybody had a good time. And I am still trying to recuperate from this long weekend.

Saturday was spent getting the Ranch all cleaned up for this event. Well - Steve and Bill and I got to bond all day and into the night. We even watched the latest Rambo movie and a crazy oldie, "Cat Ballou." Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin ... check this out...

Friday, October 3, 2008 0 comments

Overwhelmed yet?

Ok - so there's TWO weeks left until the mission trip. While I am definitely excited, I have a mounding list of things to-do before I leave for 20 days. I've been doing ok, but in the past any time I get too much on my plate I made sure to take the time to sift it into something more manageable. Well, I FINALLY got to do that yesterday. But I think Satan has computer demons.

You see, I finally made the switch from carrying a heavy paper planner to the more mobile Palm Pilot. Cool little gadget. Fits in my pocket and I can still categorize & color-code! THEN, we got these fancy phones at work that has EVERYTHING on it. Windows/Office platform so I have a version of Outlook on my phone - even cooler. So I'm still working on transferring info, but I pretty much have everything in one place now - my phone. I spent some time last night updating my daily list of to-dos, my project lists, some contacts, church scheduling, auction scheduling, KFC scheduling, person scheduling, etc. Felt like I have my big ol workload under control again.

Well, when I came in early this morning - my Outlook (email and my planning software) would NOT open! AAACCCCKKKKK!!!!!!! What was I going to do?!?!? All that work! That's the one positive about paper planners. Well, stay some other the offsite tech'll be fine. And like Rebecca, I love to see God in everything. Patience. Wait upon the Lord. My hope and trust is in Him -- not this goofy machine. And what do ya know -- the mail server is up and running again. Just a quick reminder from God that He's in control.